William Langland: Piers Plowman; A Parallel-Text Edition of the A B, B, C, and Z Versions, II: Introduction, II: Introduction, vol. 2. Rev. ed., Bibliography and Indexical Glossary
This second volume completes Schmidt’s Parallel-Text edition, of which Volume I (Text) was published by Longman in 1995. After a description of the history of its editing from the sixteenth century to the present day, a detailed examination of the primary sources of each version contained in Volume I is completed by a comprehensive account of the textual principles on which the editing has been carried out. The section of ‘Textual Notes’ is geared to the C version, but with all important textual issues in the other versions discussed at the point where they appear in the published Parallel-Text. The ‘Commentary’, offering a detailed exposition of the poem’s meaning, is handled in the same comparative fashion, with the C text as basis for reference. The final main section is a fully indexed glossary of all four versions, again geared initially to C, together with indexes of all foreign words and phrases, quotations, and proper names appearing in the poem. A bibliography listing works cited and consulted in the preceding parts furnishes a helpful guide to further study of the poem. Substantial appendices examining the poem’s language and metre and its manuscript rubrics present fundamental evidence for L’s verse-technique and his use of a ‘repertory’ of lines and half-lines, and conclude with corrections and additions to the text and supplementary material contained in Volume I. This 948-page volume contains in a full and clearly presented form all the material essential for advanced study of a great medieval poem that continues to attract wide and intense interest. The two-volume work constitutes a major enterprise of textual scholarship and will provide for students of L a modern equivalent to Skeat’s standard edition of 1886. (Adapted from the jacket cover)
- Andrew Galloway, YLS, 24 (2010), 223-32;
- Manfred Görlach, Anglia, 128 (2010), 503-06;
- Derek Pearsall, Speculum, 84 (2010), 701-03;
- Lawrence Warner, The Medieval Review 10.04.07 (http://hdl.handle.net/2022/6913);
- Michael Calabrese, JEGP, 111 (2012), 127-30.